Ferry in Demand

Contrary to the claims of those criticising the Galleons Passage fast ferry, people are using the vessel to conduct business between Trinidad and Tobago.

That’s according to Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, who said on Wednesday (April 10) at the post-Executive Council media briefing that statistics for March 2019 show the vessel’s use compares favourably with the use of the TT Spirit.

Charles said the overall percentage of passengers and vehicles using the Galleons Passage (66 per cent) last month was greater than those for the TT Spirit (60 per cent). And during peak weekends, the use spiked significantly.

According to the Chief Secretary, these figures show that people are consistently travelling on the Galleons Passage. He added that it is also in Tobago’s interest to encourage the use of the fast ferries, which can help boost Tobago’s businesses.

“There are some who are even business people maligning the vessel,” Charles stated, “undermining their own interests, but thank God there are persons who refuse to entertain those kind of comments and are using the vessels to conduct their business.”

The Chief Secretary also cautioned residents against heeding the advice of people who are “operating against “[Tobago’s] interests”. He questioned the motives of those criticising the upcoming lease arrangement for the Jean De La Valette fast ferry, which is expected to be added to the sea bridge fleet.

That vessel is owned by Virtu Ferries out of Malta, and Charles revealed that it can travel at 38 knots, with a capacity for 800 passengers and 156 cars.

He said the vessel impressed Port Authority representatives, who toured the craft and travelled on it. He described it as well-maintained “in terms of appearance and cleanliness… [and] mechanically”.

“All systems worked without any hiccups,” Charles said, “and it was even encouraging to note that the vessel, prior to dry-docking overall, could be functioning with such ease.”

 

Galleons Passage – March

Dates

Passengers

Vehicles

Overall

66%

87%

Ash Wednesday (Mar 6)

89.3%

98%

Call to Paradise (Mar 10)

88%

100%

Dragon boat Weekend (Mar 22)

64%

95%

Dragon boat Weekend (Mar 24)

88%

83%

 

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